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All Episodes Talk: The Absence of Light

A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Thank you, Silver Stormm, for rising from your sick bed to start this forum. Since this is for all episodes, I'm going to wait to post until we finish the series...but then, boy, will I have a ton of comments and questions!

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Already binged this and loved it! It had lots of twists and turns and I loved the music. Still not sure what the ending was about, maybe someone can clue me in.

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Just finished the last episode and am pretty confused, but it seems like Jonas ended up in a post-apocalyptic future (later than the 2019 time he was from). Does that mean that the priest was telling Bartosz the truth when he said that he was on the side of light and those who were trying to destroy the time portal were on the side of dark (meaning, I think, Claudia and Jonas)? 

So is Ulrich stuck as a prisoner (probably to die there) in 1953? Was Mikkel returned to what was left of his family in 2019? (I thought there was a quick shot of Mikkel being hugged by someone who looked like his sister in front of their house.) And who is Hannah going to shoot? 

So many more questions after I have time to think about this. Overall, I thought the series was fascinating but was hoping for more resolution and clarity in the last episode. I guess this ending could set things up for a second season.

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Before watching the last couple of episodes, my husband and I made a list of main characters and family relationships to try and reduce the confusion. I'm sharing it here in case it helps anyone else, but some names are missing and there are probably a few mistakes. Please feel free to correct names and relationships and add to this list if you can.

The Kahnwalds (sp?): Ines is a nurse who adopted Mikkel in 1986 (see the Nielsens below); Mikkel became Michael and married Hannah (who had an unrequited crush on Ulrich Nielsen in high school and had an affair with him as an adult). Mikkel and Hannah had a son Jonas, who had a breakdown after his father committed suicide in 2019. Jonas is also seen as an older version of himself, the man who wants to have the clockmaker (Tannhauser?) fix the time machine so the older Jonas can destroy the time portal. 

The Nielsens: Agnes Nielsen is the mother of Tronte, and in 1953 they have apparently fled an abusive husband/father (not named), although Agnes tells people he is dead. In 1986 and 2019 Jana and Tronte are the parents of Ulrich (the cop) and Mads (the boy who went missing in 1986). In 2019 Ulrich is married to Katharina (sp?), who was his high school girlfriend and is now the high school principal. Their children are Magnus (teenage boy sleeping with Franziska Doppler--see below), Martha (teenage girl who is girlfriend of Bartosz but is attracted to Jonas), and Mikkel (the boy who went missing in 2019 and turned up in 1986).

The Dopplers: Helge Doppler is the son of rich parents (don't remember either of their first names) who as a boy in 1953 suffers a serious head injury and apparent brain damage when Ulrich Nielsen (who has traveled back in time) tries to kill him. Helge grows up to become the (reluctant) helper of the probably evil priest, who calls himself Noah. At some point Helge presumably gets married, though I don't remember seeing his wife or hearing her name mentioned, and has a son Peter who grows up to become a therapist and the estranged husband of Charlotte, who is a cop in 2019. They have two daughters: the older is Franziska, a brainy and smart-ass rhythmic gymnast, and the younger is Elizabeth or Eli, who is deaf and mute but very smart. In 2019 Helge is in a nursing home suffering from dementia but gradually remembering his role in the priest's crimes and wanting to undo the past and/or stop it from happening again.

The Tiedemanns: Egon Tiedemann is a young cop in 1953, married (don't remember his wife's name) and with a daughter Claudia. Claudia seems to tutor Helge Doppler occasionally when they are kids, and as adults in 1986 he seems to have a crush on her. In 1986 Egon is still a cop nearing retirement and with a drinking problem and has it in for the teenage Ulrich, whose taunting attitude feeds into Egon's suspicions. Apparently Egon's wife has left him sometime between 1953 and 1986. In 1986 Claudia has just been named manager of the nuclear power plant; she has a teenage daughter Regina but no indication of a husband, and I think Claudia uses the last name Tiedemann. Also in 1986, Claudia seems to be having an affair with Tronte Nielsen, who she met as a kid when he and his mother came to town in 1953. In 1986 Regina is terrorized by Ulrich and Katharina because Hannah told them that Regina told her grandfather Egon that she had seen Ulrich raping Katharina; in fact, it was Hannah who told Egon this. Regina is rescued at one point by a young man who is injured and seems to be on the run; he gives his name as Aleksandr (although he has a passport with the name Boris Niewald that he has hidden in the woods) and soon starts working secretly for Claudia to seal up a door in the caves. Aleksandr apparently grows up to become Regina's husband and the manager of the nuclear plant in 2019, while Regina owns/manages a hotel. Aleksandr and Regina have a son Bartosz, who is a good friend of Jonas until he thinks Jonas is stealing his girlfriend. One thing that is not clear in this family connection is what Aleksandr's last name is--Regina still seems to use the name Tiedemann, but I don't remember if Bartosz has a different last name.  Another piece of info about Aleksandr is that in 2019 Hannah blackmails him by showing him the bag in which he had hidden his Boris Niehwald passport and a gun (she was watching him in the woods in 1986 when he did this), but we still don't know why he had this other passport, who Boris was, and why he had a gun or was injured when he came across Regina in 1986. 

Edited by Paloma. Reason: added name thanks to RedKoolAide
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Thanks, RedKoolAide--I was pretty sure it began with an M but just couldn't think of the name.

MyMorningCoffee, it makes my head spin also! And that's without all the additional head-spinning plot details.

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I just finished this. It was A+ for me until around episode 7. I liked it but less after that episode.

 

I am a huge fan of sci/fi and fantasy but hate time travel. This could be why things went down hill for me.

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Liked this overall but the dubbed English took me out of it a little. I'm probably in the minority but I'd rather hear the original language and read the subtitles. 

Did anyone else wonder about child and adult Mikkel/Michael being alive in the same community at the same time? I was expecting to see flashbacks of Michael creepily staring at little Mikkel.Furthermore it would be interesting to see Michael realize that his son is the friend of his older brother who was with him when he disappeared. Hopefully adult Michael's storyline will be explored more in season 2. 

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The dubbed English-version accents bothered me too. My TV allowed me to switch it back to the original German.

Edited by Enigma X.
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I'm just about to start this after hearing great things.  I'll aim for the version with sub-titles and convince myself that I fully understand German by the end!

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10 hours ago, Negritude said:

Liked this overall but the dubbed English took me out of it a little. I'm probably in the minority but I'd rather hear the original language and read the subtitles. 

I also didn't like the dubbed English, expecially because the English subtitles often significantly vary from the dubbed words in English. I initially persuaded my husband to set it to the original German with English subtitles, but he finds subtitles distracting so his preference for English dubbing won out. If I rewatch the series, I might do so along with the German dialogue and English subtitles.

ETA: I guess we could have watched it with just the dubbed English, no subtitles, but I often miss bits of dialogue and prefer to have captions on even in English-language shows (especially those where characters speak with a British, Australian, or other accent).

4 hours ago, JennyFF said:

I'm just about to start this after hearing great things.  I'll aim for the version with sub-titles and convince myself that I fully understand German by the end!

This approach sometimes works for me in Spanish and French films--I studied these languages many moons ago and with the help of English subtitles start to remember vocabulary and phrases. But I never studied German so that wouldn't help me in this show.

Edited by Paloma. Reason: clarification
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6 hours ago, Paloma said:

This approach sometimes works for me in Spanish and French films--I studied these languages many moons ago and with the help of English subtitles start to remember vocabulary and phrases. But I never studied German so that wouldn't help me in this show.

I studied both French and Spanish and go back and forth between thinking I shouldn't have the subtitle backup and thinking I should.  I do find it easier to watch shows in languages I don't know, like German (Deutchland 83) and Icelandic (Trapped) because the auditory component is a non-factor.  I can multi-task on a computer and watch the way I do with English shows because all it takes is a quick glance up to read the subtitles before I can go back to reading my computer screen.

I've heard so many good things about this but I'm worried about the time travel element.  Just how sci fi is this show? 

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8 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

I've heard so many good things about this but I'm worried about the time travel element.  Just how sci fi is this show? 

The time travel is a major element in the plot, so I guess that makes it pretty sci fi. But it also focuses on family issues and the problems that individual characters are dealing with. If you really hate time travel and sci fi, this may not be for you, but I would give it a chance because it is so well done.

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7 minutes ago, Paloma said:

The time travel is a major element in the plot, so I guess that makes it pretty sci fi. But it also focuses on family issues and the problems that individual characters are dealing with. If you really hate time travel and sci fi, this may not be for you, but I would give it a chance because it is so well done.

I am not a fan of hard core sci fi.  Time travel I'm a little bit better with so I might check it out.

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On 12/13/2017 at 9:10 PM, Paloma said:

Just finished the last episode and am pretty confused, but it seems like Jonas ended up in a post-apocalyptic future (later than the 2019 time he was from). Does that mean that the priest was telling Bartosz the truth when he said that he was on the side of light and those who were trying to destroy the time portal were on the side of dark (meaning, I think, Claudia and Jonas)? 

I definitely don't believe creepy, evil priest is on the side of light (and what was with the annoying music whenever he was in a scene? I know it was meant to be creepy and raise the suspense level but it was just very loud and annoying). My guess is simply that unfortunately he's one step ahead of the good guys and so yes, he was right in saying that while Jonas thought he was closing the black hole, he was in fact just essentially opening it and starting the whole cycle all over again. At least that's the impression I got. I'm not sure about Claudia though and whether she was willingly duping him. I feel like if she was, she had her reasons. I just get the feeling that she is on the good side. 

 

On 12/13/2017 at 9:10 PM, Paloma said:

So is Ulrich stuck as a prisoner (probably to die there) in 1953? Was Mikkel returned to what was left of his family in 2019? (I thought there was a quick shot of Mikkel being hugged by someone who looked like his sister in front of their house.) And who is Hannah going to shoot? 

I think Jonas' essentially resetting the whole cycle will send Ulrich back to 2019. What I think may happen is that all the lives in the specific time periods - 1953, 1986 and 2019 will reverse back to before the strange stuff started happening. So everything we saw this season will essentially happen again unless 2019 Jonas figures out a way to stop future Jonas and truly figure out how to fix things and best creepy, evil Noah. By the way, that wasn't Mikkel's sister hugging him in front of the house. That was the nurse, in 1986, bringing him to her home after adopting him. That's the same house Jonas and his mother were living in.

That said, for as much as I enjoyed this show, I don't know if I'm so eager to see a second season. It was certainly a fascinating exploration of family, love, good vs. evil, all set against a backdrop of science fiction and the whole age old questions of time and how our lives are shaped, etc. But I found it a bit slow and frustrating at times and just wasn't deeply engrossed enough all the way through to feel excited at a potential second season. 

That said, I do hope if there is a second season, Hannah dies a violent death. Of all the awful characters on the show, she really was the worst for me. Woman is just evil and psychotic. Strange that she raised Jonas who by all accounts seems like a sweet kid., I did wonder about the random scene in one of the earlier episodes where Jonas' grandmother (the nurse who adopted Mikkel/later Michael) was listening to a message Hannah left on her machine complaining about the lights being turned off and Hannah ranting about how Michael would not be okay with the woman treating her and her grandchild this way.

However, seeing more of Hannah in the later episodes made me realize that it's quite likely the woman loathes Hannah because she knows she's an awful person. And I got the impression that Hannah never loved Michael but likely settled for him because she had no choice when Ulrich married Katherina. Something Michael;'s mom probably also knew. Not that I feel too sorry for Ulrich per se since he did choose to have an affair with the psycho bitch. I did think it was interesting that the last episode revealed that Jonas was well aware the affair was happening. 

Edited by truthaboutluv.
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54 minutes ago, truthaboutluv said:

By the way, that wasn't Mikkel's sister hugging him in front of the house. That was the nurse, in 1986, bringing him to her home after adopting him. That's the same house Jonas and his mother were living in.

Thanks for clarifying this, and I appreciate your other insights into the priest and Jonas resetting the cycle. FWIW, I read one review that said that the priest was the father of Tronte Nielsen (and the supposedly dead husband of Tronte's mother Agnes in 1953) and, if true, the priest would be the grandfather of Ulrich and the great-grandfather of Mikkel/Michael. But I don't remember hearing this or even getting a hint about it while watching the episodes, though I'm sure I missed a lot. In any case, if it is true, that definitely makes the priest even more evil since he abused his son and maybe his wife.

1 hour ago, truthaboutluv said:

I do hope if there is a second season, Hannah dies a violent murder. Of all the awful characters on the show, she really was the worst for me. Woman is just evil and psychotic. Strange that she raised Jonas who by all accounts seems like a sweet kid., I did wonder about the random scene in one of the earlier episodes where Jonas' grandmother (the nurse who adopted Mikkel/later Michael) was listening to a message Hannah left on her machine complaining about the lights being turned off and Hannah ranting about how Michael would not be okay with the woman treating her and her grandchild this way.

However, seeing more of Hannah in the later episodes made me realize that it's quite likely the woman loathes Hannah because she knows she's an awful person. And I got the impression that Hannah never loved Michael but likely settled for him because she had no choice when Ulrich married Katherina. Something Michael;'s mom probably also knew.

Agree 100% about Hannah, and your insight about the relationship between Ines and Hannah makes sense. In the earlier episodes, before I realized that Ines was Mikkel's adoptive mother and thus Jonas's grandmother, she just seemed depressive and kind of weird to me. But it's likely that she blamed Hannah for her adoptive son's unhappiness, at least until she read the letter explaining who he really was and what happened to him. 

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1 hour ago, Paloma said:

Thanks for clarifying this, and I appreciate your other insights into the priest and Jonas resetting the cycle. FWIW, I read one review that said that the priest was the father of Tronte Nielsen (and the supposedly dead husband of Tronte's mother Agnes in 1953) and, if true, the priest would be the grandfather of Ulrich and the great-grandfather of Mikkel/Michael. But I don't remember hearing this or even getting a hint about it while watching the episodes, though I'm sure I missed a lot.

Oh thanks for mentioning this and yes, I definitely got that idea based on one particular scene. It was when Agnes was speaking to Egon's wife about her late husband and said he was a priest (might have been man of God or something to that effect) but that he was anything but good and the impression you got was that he was a really awful man she was more than happy to be rid of. I also couldn't decide if the cigarette burn marks on Tronte's arms were self inflicted by him or by said late father or hell maybe Agnes herself. It's clear there was something off about those two. So yeah, I can see where some got the idea that evil Noah may be Ulrich's grandfather.

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I have so many questions.

Is it just me, or did older Jonas not change anything at the end?  Besides the fact that Noah said that Jonas wasn't going to change anything, in one of the earlier episodes, they showed kid Helge lying on the floor in the torture room.  And I believe the story was told in order, which means that wasn't a flash forward to what was going to happen when older Jonas went through with his plan.  (I hope that makes sense; it's hard to talk about timelines when time travel is involved!)  I remember that confused me because I thought it was the Elizabeth's friend (is he also deaf?) lying on the floor in the torture room (and subsequently spent some time thinking that Helge and the deaf kid were somehow the same person, and not understanding how he gained hearing).  But in that case, if young Helge got sent forward to 1986, he would have had to figure out how to get back to 1953 so that he can also be an adult in 1986.  Maybe that's where Noah comes in?

I have some questions about Noah.  Ines commented that he doesn't age.  She mentioned seeing him in 1986, and then again in 2019.  Which means he knows how the time tunnel works.  So then why is he even bothering with experimenting on the children with Helge?  My understanding is that Noah is a grown-up Bartosz, so is the only reason he's doing the experiments because the older him told him to?  ALSO, when Noah first called Bartosz on Erik's phone, I thought he told him that he was Erik's drug supplier.  Was he really, or was he just saying that to get Bartosz to meet with him?

At first, I thought that Noah could have been Tronte's father, but Noah was around town in 1953 (I thought), so people would have known him; Tronte's mom said they were new in town.

 

On 12/16/2017 at 6:19 PM, Negritude said:

Liked this overall but the dubbed English took me out of it a little. I'm probably in the minority but I'd rather hear the original language and read the subtitles. 

Did anyone else wonder about child and adult Mikkel/Michael being alive in the same community at the same time? I was expecting to see flashbacks of Michael creepily staring at little Mikkel.Furthermore it would be interesting to see Michael realize that his son is the friend of his older brother who was with him when he disappeared. Hopefully adult Michael's storyline will be explored more in season 2. 

Michael would have known all along that Jonas was the guy who was with him when he disappeared.  It seemed very apparent that everyone in this town knew each other (or at least the concerned families did), so the young Mikkel would have known who Jonas's parents were, especially since Jonas had been his sister's boyfriend, and, I believe, friends with his brother.  The minute his name got changed to Michael Kahnwald he would have figured it out, I think.  No wonder the dude was mentally unstable.  That on top of the thing about "are you a person or a butterfly."  The poor guy either has to accept that he has had some sort of break with reality or that he's going to grow up to be the father of the kid who was with him when he got sent back in time.

I'm surprised to learn anyone stuck with the dubbing.  The instant I saw that it was dubbed, I changed the language settings.

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4 hours ago, janie jones said:

At first, I thought that Noah could have been Tronte's father, but Noah was around town in 1953 (I thought), so people would have known him; Tronte's mom said they were new in town.

Yes but that could just mean Tronte and his mom thought his father was dead, when instead he was really in the town, unbeknownst to them, when they decided to move there. Also, considering the craziness of the show due to the whole time travel thing (e.g. Jonas' father Michael, lived in the same town while Mikkel was born in the present time and raised to at least 9/10, only to find out that Michael was Mikkel who grew up after being dropped in 1986 from the future. So essentially, two parallels of the same person existed at the same time in the same town), it's not so out there to imagine that Tronte's mom thought his evil father was dead, when he was really creepily going on around trying to control time travel or whatever he's doing.

Edited by truthaboutluv.
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3 hours ago, janie jones said:

Is it just me, or did older Jonas not change anything at the end?  Besides the fact that Noah said that Jonas wasn't going to change anything, in one of the earlier episodes, they showed kid Helge lying on the floor in the torture room.  And I believe the story was told in order, which means that wasn't a flash forward to what was going to happen when older Jonas went through with his plan.  (I hope that makes sense; it's hard to talk about timelines when time travel is involved!)  I remember that confused me because I thought it was the Elizabeth's friend (is he also deaf?) lying on the floor in the torture room (and subsequently spent some time thinking that Helge and the deaf kid were somehow the same person, and not understanding how he gained hearing).  But in that case, if young Helge got sent forward to 1986, he would have had to figure out how to get back to 1953 so that he can also be an adult in 1986.  Maybe that's where Noah comes in?

I'm not sure what, if anything, the older Jonas changed, but I was also confused about kid Helge ending up on the floor in the torture room. I assume that Noah found him when he came back to (presumably) torture or kill the younger Jonas. I guess Noah wouldn't want to kill kid Helge because he is going to end up helping him in his nefarious endeavors.

4 hours ago, janie jones said:

I have some questions about Noah.  Ines commented that he doesn't age.  She mentioned seeing him in 1986, and then again in 2019.  Which means he knows how the time tunnel works.  So then why is he even bothering with experimenting on the children with Helge?  My understanding is that Noah is a grown-up Bartosz, so is the only reason he's doing the experiments because the older him told him to?  ALSO, when Noah first called Bartosz on Erik's phone, I thought he told him that he was Erik's drug supplier.  Was he really, or was he just saying that to get Bartosz to meet with him?

I'm pretty sure Noah doesn't seem to age because he uses the time tunnel, but he probably didn't know how to use it in 1953. He kidnapped and killed Mads Nielsen in 1986 and had Helge dump his body in 2019, so presumably Noah knew how to use the time tunnel by 1986. I don't know what he was doing or where he was hanging out between 1953 and 1986, but it seems unlikely he'd stay in a small town all that time if he didn't age. He was definitely there in 1953 because that's when he was "counseling" Helge's mother, and he may have been his "true" age then. But (referring to your later comment) if he was Tronte's father there is no reason the people in town would know that unless Tronte or his mother saw Noah in town and told people. But I suspect that if Tronte or his mother saw Noah, they would keep quiet out of fear or maybe leave town as quickly as they came (which is not to say that Tronte couldn't have come back at some point in the future).

It never occurred to me that Noah could be a grown-up Bartosz, and I still don't think he is. It seems more likely that Noah is grooming Bartosz to be a replacement for Helge, who was becoming reluctant to help and in any case will eventually be too old to do the physical work. I don't think Noah was Erik's drug supplier, though it's possible--more likely that he just said that to get Bartosz to meet with him.

4 hours ago, janie jones said:

Michael would have known all along that Jonas was the guy who was with him when he disappeared.  It seemed very apparent that everyone in this town knew each other (or at least the concerned families did), so the young Mikkel would have known who Jonas's parents were, especially since Jonas had been his sister's boyfriend, and, I believe, friends with his brother.  The minute his name got changed to Michael Kahnwald he would have figured it out, I think.  No wonder the dude was mentally unstable.  That on top of the thing about "are you a person or a butterfly."  The poor guy either has to accept that he has had some sort of break with reality or that he's going to grow up to be the father of the kid who was with him when he got sent back in time.

Good point! All along I was thinking of this more from Jonas's perspective, once he realized who his father was. But as bad as that realization was, how much worse for Mikkel to grow up knowing all of this stuff and not being able to do anything about it or tell anyone.

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15 minutes ago, Paloma said:

But as bad as that realization was, how much worse for Mikkel to grow up knowing all of this stuff and not being able to do anything about it or tell anyone.

I think he did try sometimes but really, I mean who would believe something like that. Because both Ines and Hannah mentioned him seeming okay sometimes but other times he would say the craziest things that they weren't sure if he was just joking or delusional, etc. So I think he tried sometimes to tell people what was happening but the whole thing was just too crazy for anyone to believe. 

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5 hours ago, truthaboutluv said:

Yes but that could just mean Tronte and his mom thought his father was dead, when instead he was really in the town, unbeknownst to them, when they decided to move there. Also, considering the craziness of the show due to the whole time travel thing (e.g. Jonas' father Michael, lived in the same town while Mikkel was born in the present time and raised to at least 9/10, only to find out that Michael was Mikkel who grew up after being dropped in 1986 from the future. So essentially, two parallels of the same person existed at the same time in the same town), it's not so out there to imagine that Tronte's mom thought his evil father was dead, when he was really creepily going on around trying to control time travel or whatever he's doing.

I'm fairly certain Tronte and his mother are lying about the father being dead.  I thought she left him (possibly because he was putting cigarettes out on Tronte's arms).  I can't remember what she said to Claudia's mom or Tronte said to Claudia that made me think that.

 

4 hours ago, Paloma said:

I'm pretty sure Noah doesn't seem to age because he uses the time tunnel, but he probably didn't know how to use it in 1953. He kidnapped and killed Mads Nielsen in 1986 and had Helge dump his body in 2019, so presumably Noah knew how to use the time tunnel by 1986. I don't know what he was doing or where he was hanging out between 1953 and 1986, but it seems unlikely he'd stay in a small town all that time if he didn't age. He was definitely there in 1953 because that's when he was "counseling" Helge's mother, and he may have been his "true" age then. But (referring to your later comment) if he was Tronte's father there is no reason the people in town would know that unless Tronte or his mother saw Noah in town and told people. But I suspect that if Tronte or his mother saw Noah, they would keep quiet out of fear or maybe leave town as quickly as they came (which is not to say that Tronte couldn't have come back at some point in the future).

But it is with middle-aged Helge that he's experimenting on the children.  So if he knew how to use the time tunnel by 1986, why was he experimenting with Helge in 1986?  Also, was Noah new in town when they showed him in 1953?  I thought he'd been around, which, if he's Tronte's father, she would have had to have left him years prior and then coincidentally end up in the same town as him.

 

4 hours ago, Paloma said:

It never occurred to me that Noah could be a grown-up Bartosz, and I still don't think he is. It seems more likely that Noah is grooming Bartosz to be a replacement for Helge, who was becoming reluctant to help and in any case will eventually be too old to do the physical work. I don't think Noah was Erik's drug supplier, though it's possible--more likely that he just said that to get Bartosz to meet with him.

When Noah gave Bartosz the book, my understanding was that that was how Noah himself got the book.  Just like older Jonas was passing stuff to the younger him.

I also want to know what the deal is with Peter.  Didn't he say something about how he didn't come to town until after his father's accident?  Huh?

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I finished watching this last night. Loved it.

The music was incredible, and really added to the atmosphere and pathos. Were all the songs original?

I was struck by how different 1953 was from 1986, in terms of clothes, cars,  landscape, etr. 1986 and 2019 were much more similar by comparison.

On 12/13/2017 at 10:10 PM, Paloma said:

it seems like Jonas ended up in a post-apocalyptic future (later than the 2019 time he was from).

My take was that the nuclear plant was destroyed, triggering a environmental disaster.

Edited by marinw.
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10 hours ago, janie jones said:

But it is with middle-aged Helge that he's experimenting on the children.  So if he knew how to use the time tunnel by 1986, why was he experimenting with Helge in 1986? 

Because Noah is evil and enjoys torturing/killing children? I'm kind of half-joking here. Noah obviously has no conscience or empathy toward the suffering of the children, but I suppose that his continuing to experiment with them even after he knew how to use the time tunnel was partly because he wanted to refine the technique and/or explore what other times he could travel to. Although it wasn't stated clearly, I got the impression that different passages in the cave could take you to more times than just 1953, 1986, and 2019--as long as they were 33 years apart.  

One thing I didn't understand was who set up the torture room (and when) and why it was decorated with that strange wallpaper and had a TV blaring what was apparently 1980s videos or commercials. At least in the first kidnapped kid scene, when we saw Erik (the red-haired) kid in the room, he was covering his ears trying to shut out the TV. Is it possible that the decoration and the TV was Helge's idea of what a kid would like? I don't really see why Noah would care about how the torture room was decorated.

Also, the torture room was apparently on the other side of the wall from the bomb shelter, or at least that's how it seemed when the time portal opened up and kid Helge and teen Jonas exchanged places. But when the female cop in 2019 went down to the bomb shelter, she found scraps of the wallpaper from the torture room. My husband thought that meant that the torture room used to be in the bomb shelter and they (Noah and Helge) dismantled it at some point, but I'm not sure that makes sense. Probably a minor point not worth worrying about.

1 hour ago, marinw said:
On 12/13/2017 at 9:10 PM, Paloma said:

it seems like Jonas ended up in a post-apocalyptic future (later than the 2019 time he was from).

My take was that the nuclear plant was destroyed, triggering a environmental disaster.

I agree that it was a nuclear plant/environmental disaster but it's unclear how long after 2019 this took place. It may have taken place in 2019 while Jonas was being held by Helge/Noah in 1986, but if Jonas then returned to 2019 shortly after it took place, it seems like it would have taken longer for the world to descend into the Mad Max scene we saw. I suspect that Jonas was thrown farther into the future when the older Jonas opened the time portal or reset the whole cycle, maybe 33 years in the future to 2052. If he can get back to the caves and figure out the passages again, maybe he can get back to a "normal" 2019.

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I got the impression that time travel was only possible within the 1953-2019 time span. Perhaps the Nuclear meltdown (or whatever that was) opened up other years.

It was very disconcerting when the scientist saw a 2019 phone for the first time, and found a way to keep the thing charged. That is bound to influence the progress of events, both backwards and forwards.

Edited by marinw.
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3 hours ago, RedKoolAide said:

Does Noah only experiment on boys? 

We've only seen him experiment on boys, so maybe there is a reason. There are probably plenty of opportunities to grab girls in the woods, like when Elizabeth (the deaf girl) walked home alone.

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Oh that reminds me.  Did they ever show how Charlotte lost that pocket watch that Noah gave Elizabeth?

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My Favorite song from "Dark" is A Quiet Life

This singer reminds me of Leonard  Cohen. 

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On 22.12.2017 at 2:49 AM, janie jones said:

Oh that reminds me.  Did they ever show how Charlotte lost that pocket watch that Noah gave Elizabeth?

I guess that's something for future seasons. Maybe she goes to 1953 to get Ullrich out of prison (she knows he is there) and that's when she meets Noah. 

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Just finished this. The alternate title very well may have been “Cynical Things”, because seriously, did anything good happen to anybody?

The characters were all very compelling, even if they absolutely detestable (Hannah, Ulrich)

I watched it with the German audio, because I just cannot do live action dubs.

I really hope this show gets a second season. 

21 hours ago, janie jones said:

She can only lose the pocket watch after it was given back to her?

Time travel, man. It messes with you. 

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8 minutes ago, Last Time Lord said:

I really hope this show gets a second season. 

Netflix has already confirmed a second season for the show. 

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On 12/20/2017 at 5:34 PM, janie jones said:

I also want to know what the deal is with Peter.  Didn't he say something about how he didn't come to town until after his father's accident?  Huh?

Yeah, and who is his mother? Helge seems a little slow; I was wondering who his wife/Peter's mother could be. I half expected Peter to be an abducted boy that Helge took pity on for some reason and adopted.

I was also confused about the Tiedemanns. Aleksander definitely has the last name Tiedemann as well, which is weird. Maybe he took Claudia's name because he couldn't use his own?

Ulrich, Hannah, and Katharina are all assholes.

 

Edit: forgot to add that I didn't think 33 years later Jonas looked nearly old enough to be 50 (I'm estimating younger Jonas is 16-17?) but apparently the actor is almost 49.

Edited by Jordan61.
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19 hours ago, Jordan61 said:

I was also confused about the Tiedemanns. Aleksander definitely has the last name Tiedemann as well, which is weird. Maybe he took Claudia's name because he couldn't use his own?

That's my guess.  Because if you remember, when he met her mother to ask for the job and she asked him his name, he simply said Aleksander and wouldn't add a last name, even when she pressed him about it. Whatever and whoever he was clearly running from, he probably figured if he used the full name of the guy's identity he took, it would make it easier to find or trace that he wasn't him. 

Edited by truthaboutluv.
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11 hours ago, Jordan61 said:

Yeah, and who is his mother? Helge seems a little slow; I was wondering who his wife/Peter's mother could be. I half expected Peter to be an abducted boy that Helge took pity on for some reason and adopted.

Edit: forgot to add that I didn't think 33 years later Jonas looked nearly old enough to be 50 (I'm estimating younger Jonas is 16-17?) but apparently the actor is almost 49.

 

When Jonas was in 1986, I thought he might grow up to be Peter, until he went back to 2019.  How many kids did Helge and Noah abduct, though?  I thought when Erik went missing, they said that a kid hadn't gone missing since Mads.

I spent a lot of time suspecting that 33-years-later Jonas was Jonas, but wasn't sure because he was way too young and had dark hair.  So I wondered if Hannah was pregnant and he was the baby, since the guy looked about 33.  The dude does not look 49.

Edited by janie jones.
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7 minutes ago, janie jones said:

I spent a lot of time suspecting that 33-years-later Jonas was Jonas, but wasn't sure because he was way too young and had dark hair.  So I wondered if Hannah was pregnant and he was the baby, since the guy looked about 33.  The dude does not look 49.

I thought he looked around 33 too. I looked him up while watching too. He ages very well.

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I really enjoyed this, but need to watch it again. My German is not fluent and I'm sure I missed things with such an intricate plot-line and so many threads. 

To echo what others have said, Ullrich, Katharina and Hannah are all assholes. As teens and adults. And Ullrich is kind of an idiot. How did he not recognize his own brother. Even without the eyes and ears you'd think he'd at least think this person looked familiar. Especially wearing the clothes he was familiar with. I get that it's 33 years later but it seemed odd that it didn't ring some sort of bell or trigger some sort of memory. Also when he met his young grandmother and father. Had he never seen photos of them when they were young? 

That criticism aside I did think the acting was very good, it was very atmospheric, and the way they dealt with time was very smart. Showing how complex it is and how things can be changed and the effects it has on the psyche. 

I'd love to pick apart each episode if anyone is game!

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6 hours ago, janie jones said:

How many kids did Helge and Noah abduct, though?  I thought when Erik went missing, they said that a kid hadn't gone missing since Mads.

Based on what they showed, the only ones abducted were (in chronological order) Mads, Erik, the young friend of the deaf girl (she was Charlotte's daughter), and Jonas. But it's possible that other kids were abducted for experimental purposes--maybe ones who would not be missed, such as a homeless child or runaway. If that happened, presumably their bodies could have been dumped in a different time period (past or future) than when they were abducted, like Mads and Erik were.

Whether or not others were abducted, that doesn't answer the question of Peter. If he had been abducted, wouldn't he remember that? Of course, maybe he does remember it and that's part of why he is so messed up.

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Or maybe he wasn't abducted, but he accidentally traveled in time like Mikkel did and got found by Helge. 

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On 12/15/2017 at 7:21 PM, Enigma X said:

I just finished this. It was A+ for me until around episode 7. I liked it but less after that episode.

I am a huge fan of sci/fi and fantasy but hate time travel. This could be why things went down hill for me.

That's interesting because I felt the show worked in reverse with more time travel in the beginning and more sci fi/fantasy as it went on.  As I said above, I find I can do time travel a lot easier than sci fi/fantasy, which I hate. I think Dark did time travel well because of how much character and mystery was involved.  There was more sci fi in the latter episodes, especially the final episode. I can't even begin to explain how much I hated those last few minutes and make me question whether or not I'm watching a second season.  (Apocalyptic is my least favorite genre).

On 12/20/2017 at 10:10 AM, janie jones said:

I'm surprised to learn anyone stuck with the dubbing.  The instant I saw that it was dubbed, I changed the language settings.

I think it's just unfamiliarity with dubbing for a lot of US viewers.  People living in non-English speaking countries are more used to receiving programming dubbed into their native languages that was originally produced in English. I would guess they're also more aware about being able to switch both audio tracks and subtitles if available. In the US, most of our foreign programming comes with subtitles as a default setting and it might not even occur to some viewers that they could change the audio track too.  And then you have your general "I don't want to read my TV" attitudes.

On 12/26/2017 at 10:16 PM, Jordan61 said:

Edit: forgot to add that I didn't think 33 years later Jonas looked nearly old enough to be 50 (I'm estimating younger Jonas is 16-17?) but apparently the actor is almost 49.

I thought late 40 at the oldest.

On 12/20/2017 at 2:28 PM, Paloma said:

I'm pretty sure Noah doesn't seem to age because he uses the time tunnel, but he probably didn't know how to use it in 1953. He kidnapped and killed Mads Nielsen in 1986 and had Helge dump his body in 2019, so presumably Noah knew how to use the time tunnel by 1986. I don't know what he was doing or where he was hanging out between 1953 and 1986, but it seems unlikely he'd stay in a small town all that time if he didn't age. He was definitely there in 1953 because that's when he was "counseling" Helge's mother, and he may have been his "true" age then.

I feel like he had to have discovered the wormhole in 1953.  The actor playing Noah is 45.  If he is his "true" 1986 age in the series, that would make him 12 in 1953--way too young to have married and fathered a boy who looks to be older than that. (Assuming he is Ulrich's grandfather). If he didn't travel through time and instead aged until 1986 when he then discovered the time travel portal, the character would be in his late 70s.  My guess, he discovered the portal in 1953 and realized he could also go to 2019 but his experiments involve wanting to either travel later than this trinity (which would mean older Jonas did change something because it opened up the time travel hole further than what it had been before) or maybe just the ability to go to a year outside of the 33 year cycle. 

All in all, I liked a lot about the show.  I was confused through most of it so I really appreciated the recaps linked in the media thread.  I can handle a large cast of characters normally but there was extra complexity in that not only did we have to remember three different generations of people but then remember how, at times, three different actors were the same character at different stages of their lives and then how those characters were related to characters in other generations.  And gosh some of them looked so similar.  I swear, all the young kidnapped boys looked similar.

But as much as I respect the intricacy of how it was all weaved together, it really felt like it was just beginning.  I don't know that anything was wrapped up and wonder if it's really going anywhere.  Can the show recreate the same character drama in a second season?  It makes me wary.

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I'm pretty sure Noah doesn't seem to age because he uses the time tunnel, but he probably didn't know how to use it in 1953. He kidnapped and killed Mads Nielsen in 1986 and had Helge dump his body in 2019, so presumably Noah knew how to use the time tunnel by 1986. I don't know what he was doing or where he was hanging out between 1953 and 1986, but it seems unlikely he'd stay in a small town all that time if he didn't age. He was definitely there in 1953 because that's when he was "counseling" Helge's mother, and he may have been his "true" age then.

I feel like he had to have discovered the wormhole in 1953.  The actor playing Noah is 45.  If he is his "true" 1986 age in the series, that would make him 12 in 1953--way too young to have married and fathered a boy who looks to be older than that. (Assuming he is Ulrich's grandfather). If he didn't travel through time and instead aged until 1986 when he then discovered the time travel portal, the character would be in his late 70s.  My guess, he discovered the portal in 1953 and realized he could also go to 2019 but his experiments involve wanting to either travel later than this trinity (which would mean older Jonas did change something because it opened up the time travel hole further than what it had been before) or maybe just the ability to go to a year outside of the 33 year cycle.

Do we know for sure that it is just this set of years that people can travel between?  Can I go in the time tunnel in 2018 and come out in 1985?

Also I just noticed this from the original post quoted here, but wasn't Mads accidentally sent to 2019?  (And didn't Peter and  Tronte dump the body?)

Edited by janie jones.
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3 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

I feel like he had to have discovered the wormhole in 1953.  The actor playing Noah is 45.  If he is his "true" 1986 age in the series, that would make him 12 in 1953--way too young to have married and fathered a boy who looks to be older than that. (Assuming he is Ulrich's grandfather). If he didn't travel through time and instead aged until 1986 when he then discovered the time travel portal, the character would be in his late 70s. 

Now that you put it that way, it makes sense (ha, as much as anything can make sense in this series). Assuming Noah is Tronte's father, then his apparent age of 40-45 in 1953 must be his "true" age. But I'm still not sure how he could be in Winden counseling Helge's mother in 1953 without risking being seen by his runaway wife and child after they came to Winden. Where was he living/hanging out most of the time in 1953 and the subsequent years?

13 minutes ago, janie jones said:

Do we know for sure that it is just this set of years that people can travel between?  Can I go in the time tunnel in 2018 and come out in 1985?

Since a big deal was made about the 33-year interval, I think they can only go to years that are 33 years apart. But maybe, as Irlandesa said, Noah was experimenting to try to go to a year outside of that cycle.

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6 minutes ago, Paloma said:

But I'm still not sure how he could be in Winden counseling Helge's mother in 1953 without risking being seen by his runaway wife and child after they came to Winden.

That's why I don't think he's Tronte's father.

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12 minutes ago, Paloma said:

But I'm still not sure how he could be in Winden counseling Helge's mother in 1953 without risking being seen by his runaway wife and child after they came to Winden.

Didn't he say something to Helge's mother like "fate/God brought me here to you?"  He was counseling her in her home.  We don't know how they met, do we?   Perhaps he was intending to stay in the shadows.  Was he already a knowing time traveler when he counseled her? 

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1 minute ago, janie jones said:
7 minutes ago, Paloma said:

But I'm still not sure how he could be in Winden counseling Helge's mother in 1953 without risking being seen by his runaway wife and child after they came to Winden.

That's why I don't think he's Tronte's father.

I'm not convinced that he is, either, but someone suggested upthread (sorry, I can't find it now) that the comment Tronte's mother made about her husband when she arrived in Winden suggested that he could be a priest. That and the fact that Noah likes to torture boys, and Tronte was tortured (though not in the same way). If Noah is Tronte's father, that means Noah tortured and killed his own great-grandson (Mads Nielsen)--possibly too far evil even for him, but not unbelievable considering how everyone is connected in this show.

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So were the two dead boys found in 1953 Erik and Yasin? And I agree Hannah needs to die a horrible death. She almost seemed like a sociopath with her obsession and lying.

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